January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 12 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420712-JWC-MR-01; CL 14: 219-220


12th July [1842]

My dear Mrs Russel

Will you be so good as give the little parcel to Margaret Hiddlestone with my kind remembrances— I do not know her actual address. I send also to your care a little thing for old Mary1— She used to like dearly a bit of finery, and I flatter myself this handkerchief will quite please her taste— I have put up an extra-half crown along with it, which you may tell her is to make her Thursday's dinner a little better than usual— She would have had a good dinner at Templand on that day had Templand been what it was—for Thursday you must know is my birthday,2 and whether I was far or near my Mother never failed to make a sort of celebration of it— Alas alas—this 14th of July, for the first time in my whole life, I shall miss the Mother's-gift and blessing which always reached me however distant she might be, and however circumstanced—it will pass over unnoticed like any other day of the year,—only for myself it will be a sorrowful day enough—but all my days are sorrowful now so I need not look forward with any particular apprehension to this one— I feel that that stroke so heavy and unexpected has taken away a great piece of my life—that I shall never get the better of it. I may not die this long while yet, but henceforth I can only live in the idea of death—and perhaps it is better for me so, than that I should return into the state of blind security in which I was living before this affliction came upon me— She was everyway so much better than I am, that without some such expiation of sorrow, I should hardly dare to look forward to being reunited to her where she is gone—

My husband has been unusually well since his return— He is very patient with me, and does all he can to fill her place—but who can do that? One can have but one Mother— My Cousin Jeannie too, who is still here is very kind, indeed all my friends are kinder to me far than I deserve—but somehow their kindness seems to make me only the sadder— I think always, Oh if I had but her to tell about it again; then it would do me good!—

Now there, I have written nothing but sad things to you dear Mrs Russel!— and when I sat down I meant to write cheerfully—but you will see in my putting so little restraint on my thoughts that I feel towards you the trustfulness of a sincere affection and so will not weary of these lamentations— We are always glad to see Dr Russels handwriting on the newspaper,—remember us to him kindly and to your father— Write to me when you can— I want to know about old Mary—Margaret—and of another—the last not for affection's sake I mean that wretched Mary Millegan3— Tell me if you hear anything of her— Tell your Father that I wish he would some leisure day write me a letter! The strange request of a stranger!— I cannot tell very distinctly why I make it— I believe from a vague feeling that he could say something to comfort me—

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